Song of the Day #4,221: ‘Ali Baba’ – Louie Ramirez

Best Movies of the 2010s
#6 – Chef (2014)

In 2011, Jon Favreau directed Cowboys & Aliens, a big, dumb, expensive studio movie that failed to connect with critics and audiences alike. That movie is not on this list.

Cowboys & Aliens is, however, indirectly responsible for my #6 film, 2014’s Chef. That’s because Favreau, tired of the creative constraints accompanying big-budget moviemaking, decided to go back to basics, writing and directing a cheap, personal movie instead. And that movie is a goddamn marvel.

Chef is a travelogue and a foodie’s fantasy, a road trip comedy and a father/son love story. It follows a divorced L.A. chef (Favreau) who loses his cool — and his job — after a bad review, then gets back to basics by launching a food truck business. He picks up the truck in Miami and drives it back to Los Angeles, accompanied by his young son (Emjay Anthony) and good friend/sous chef (John Leguizamo).

That’s it. Chef isn’t a plot-driven movie. Instead, it is rich with character moments, beautiful scenery, sumptuous food porn, incredible music, and oh so many laughs. Split between Miami, New Orleans, Austin and Los Angeles, this film is a traveler’s dream. Favreau captures the spirit and culture of each city with his intimate camerawork, great location scouting, and eye for authentic local faces.

All of its sensual pleasures aside, Chef is a meaningful and meta delight. The central theme of finding value in personal work and not betraying your values to serve the man applies equally to the fictional chef and the real-life filmmaker. By making this movie, Favreau fulfilled the destiny he wrote for his character.

He also gave me (and many of my family members) a film to treasure and revisit repeatedly, always eager to get lost in its sights, smells, sounds, ideas… and especially that grilled cheese sandwich.

[Introduction]
Open, oh Sesame!

Look around you
Let’s see what’s happening
Ali Baba right now
Is the man with the thing
Ali Baba is present on the scene
And he’s cooking for you
So don’t be mean

[Chorus]
Ali Baba’s cookin’, everybody’s lookin’
Gotta catch him early, gonna grab my Shirley
Ali Baba’s cookin’, everybody’s lookin’
Gotta catch him early, gonna grab my Shirley

[Verse 1]
Open, oh Sesame!
(I ain’t opening my Sesame baby)
Open, oh Sesame!
(My Sesame gonna stay closed, you hear?)
Oh come on, open that Sesame, will you
(No baby, the last time I opened my Sesame they put something in it!)
I’ve got some sesame seeds
(Oh that’s different sugar)

[Chorus]
Ali Baba’s cookin’, everybody’s lookin’
Gotta catch him early, gonna grab my Shirley
Ali Baba’s cookin’, everybody’s lookin’
Gotta catch him early, gonna grab my Shirley

[Verse 2]
Open, oh Sesame!
(I refuse to open my Sesame baby!)
Open, oh Sesame!
Come on no response, play your little trumpet so we can open the Sesame
No response? Lauren, ey Lauren, Lauren
Ey Lauren, come on Lauren, Lauren
Come on Lauren play your trumpet baby
Come on Lauren
Play that trumpet Lauren!

[Outro]
Ali Baba
Ali Baba
Ali Baba
Ali Ali Baba
Present on the scene
Ali Baba
Ali Ali Baba

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,221: ‘Ali Baba’ – Louie Ramirez

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Ah, such a great movie. It would definitely make my list!

  2. Peg says:

    Love this movie and it’s time to revisit it!

  3. Maddie says:

    Yay! Great start to a Friday, makes my heart happy to see this make the list 🙂

  4. Amy says:

    Started working on my list yesterday and knew this film would be one we had in common. Such a treasure. 💗

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